How Kotsay, A's are keeping energy positive at spring training

How Kotsay, A's are keeping energy positive at spring training originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

Considering the controversies surrounding the Athletics organization amid their relocation efforts, manager Mark Kotsay has been keeping things light at practice.

Speaking to NBC Sports California's Brodie Brazil at spring training, Kotsay explained that the team is keeping out any distractions about the future of the franchise and is instead focused on working hard and integrating new additions.

“[We’re keeping things] light in the sense of the outside noise, it’s not light by any measure on the workload,” Kotsay said. “Guys are working hard, pitchers and catchers have been here now 10 days, we haven’t really taken a moment to step off the gas pedal.

Kotsay then went on to explain how difficult it was coming out of camp and starting the season in 2023, when the A’s struggled to a 10-45 record over their first 55 games, tied for the worst start in MLB history.

“We understand how we broke camp last year and April was the most difficult month you could experience," Kotsay said. "So we’re definitely pushing our thumb down on them from a work standpoint, from a fundamentals standpoint of drilling it in.”

Now about to start his third season as Oakland’s manager, Kotsay noted that this year’s group has a great attitude so far during spring training and that there is a lot of excitement over the potential for younger players and established veterans to make an impact once Opening Day rolls around.

“In terms of the mood, it’s a great group, it’s definitely a group that kind of found themselves a little bit towards the end of the year," Kotsay said. "We’ve added a lot of new faces too, some veteran ones that weren’t here last year so there’s some excitement and some leadership as well.”

The franchise has had clouds of controversy hanging over it ever since the announcement that the A’s are efforting a relocation from Oakland to Las Vegas, with a new ballpark on the strip slated to open in 2028.

That, coupled with the uncertainty of where the team will play after their Oakland Coliseum lease expires at the end of 2024, has made for a challenging offseason for the A’s.